sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Upper Body Yoga for Seniors

By Sixty and Me August 28, 2014 Health and Fitness

Is life becoming literally a pain in the neck for you? Yoga for seniors may be able to help! In this article, we will explore several yoga poses, including cow face arms and eagle arms.

Exploring Upper Body Yoga for Seniors

For this practice, you will need a yoga belt (or improvised yoga belt substitute like a fabric belt from a bathrobe or even your dog’s leash). If you plan to practice in a chair, try to choose one with a flat, non-upholstered seat.

Obviously, everyone’s body is different, so, be sure to check with your doctor before starting yoga or any other exercise plan.

Cow Face Arms

Sit or stand upright as you perform this stretch, not folding forward at any point. Hold your yoga strap in your right hand and reach your right arm toward the ceiling, letting the strap hang down behind your back. Lengthen your right armpit and arm muscles, but keeping your right shoulder relaxed rather than permitting it to lift toward your ear.

Next, bend your left arm and reach your left forearm behind your body. Grip the strap with your left hand behind your back. If possible, gradually climb your left hand upwards on the strap, so that your hands become closer to each other. If you feel a sense of opening the front of the shoulders, you are performing the stretch correctly.

Remember this stretch is the goal, the hands touching each other is only a possible side-effect of the pose. Hunching forward to bring the hands together decreases the benefits of the stretch. You may discard the strap only if your hands easily clasp together behind your back while you remain upright. Repeat to the opposite side, this time with the left hand reaching upward and holding on the strap.

Yoga for Seniors Cow Face Arms

Eagle Arms

Extend your right arm forward from your body. Then bend your right arm so your right hand is in front of your face with your right palm facing left. Next, bend your left arm and place your left elbow inside the bend of your right arm, with the left palm facing right. Moving only partly from the wrist, and trying to stretch primarily from the left shoulder, bring the left forearm in front of the right arm so that your palms face each other.

Keep both shoulders relaxed throughout this stretch rather than shrugging them upwards toward your ears.  Unwrap your arms and let them both hang by your sides as you take a few resting breaths. When you feel ready, practice the stretch again, this time with your left arm underneath your right arm.

Yoga for Seniors Eagle Arms

Clasped Hand Forward Fold

Start from an upright position, your shoulders stacked up directly over your hips. If you are standing up, plant your feet hip distance apart. Extend both arms behind you and clasp your hands together. Exhale and fold forward from your hips, trying to keep your back flat rather than rounding it. Continue to reach your hands away from your body. Fold only as far forward as you comfortably can go without any sense of strain in your lower back.

Have you tried yoga for seniors? What benefits has yoga brought to your life? Please share your experiences in the comments below. Also, remember to check out our gentle yoga video series that we filmed for you in beautiful Bali.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

You Might Also Like